June 2017

I was looking out of the window at the Kustomized Bicycle Magazine offices the other day and watched the mid-afternoon rainstorm. I thought to myself “Wouldn’t it be great to ride one of my bikes through the streets with overcast skies in the light rain storm? I could ride something with a rear slick so I could slide around corners on the wet asphalt. Going downhill it would be a little chilly since the rain had my clothes wet but going up will would be warm since the wet clothes also act like insulation.”

Yeah, I needed a bike ride. No late spring shower could hold me back.

Then there was an explosion of noise and a bright flash came through the windows. By the time my eyes readjusted to the light a full downpour was happening. These are the “gully washers” my dad talked about. Within seconds, the gutters were full and water was coming up over the sidewalk.

Then it sounded like popcorn.  Hail had started coming down at rocket speed tearing its way through tree branches. The tree leaves fought with valiant effort but were impaled by the rock hard ice with entire platoons of leaves torn from their branches plummeting towards earth now just wet and starting their slow death. The hail got bigger and bigger. The rhythm the hail was making sped up like going from Luther Vandross to Slayer on the radio. Golf ball sized hail hit the soaked ground and bounced back into the air. What sounded like tapping on piece of hardwood with a drumstick was now a baseball bat at full swing into a car door. Ice rocks bounced off the concrete so hard that it bounced and hit the glass right in front of my face with enough force to make the glass flex. I was mesmerized by natures force but still had enough intelligence to take two steps back. I looked through the window and to the right to see how the grass and trees were holding up when a giant chunk of ice hit the shop window in slow motion and blew the glass into the shop. I could see papers and other items suddenly blow through the shop.

Then it stopped. Within five seconds, there was no noise. The thunderous pounding halted enough to here water rushing through the roof gutters and down the downspout. Everything horizontal to the ear was now covered in hail balls. Corners had them packed at 5”-6” height. Covering much of the hail were leaves and branches, some larger than 1 ½” in diameter laid in the grass.

So what is my point this month?  If I would have had the initial “Wouldn’t it be great to ride one of my bikes through the streets with overcast skies in the light rain storm?” thought a half hour before the hail storm it is very possible that I would have been on a green belt somewhere, alone when this disaster started. There is no doubt in my mind that hail this size could have very well killed me or anyone else unable to get under cover within seconds.

Riding bicycles is the love in our life, lets not die doing it.  Be careful out there.

(Note: These are actual pictures of the above described event)


Michigan Built Stainless Tie Down Hooks

Have you ever had to tie down your bike in the back of your truck and found that you had scratched the paint job with hooks and straps? Does the truck bed look like a jungle gym wrapping a few bikes after you are done trying to tie them all down? What about the ugly crease mark in your custom seat because there was a strap ran across it then tightened that you can only hope will go away?

Tim Sanders at Michigan Built has your answer. Bolt-On tie downs for your bike to make easy hooking points and to add a little bling to your bike. These bolt-on tie downs are made from Stainless steel so they can be polished out and never rust.

They were initially designed to bolt in the place of washers under your axle nuts for a quick and effective tie down. After some testing here at Kustomized Bicycle Magazine, we have found that these bolt-on tie downs make great hooking points. Other locations are to put them on both sides of your seat post clamp bolt and even under the gooseneck. Literally, there are hundreds of uses for these bolt-on tie downs and we will be doing a review in the near future.

 For more information, contact Michigan Built at https://www.facebook.com/Michigan-Built



King Zebba's Headlight Brackets

Looking for the coolest headlight brackets for that square tube fork? If you have 1 1/4" legs then King Zebba's Custom Cruisers has the perfect items for you.  For the tiny price of $40.00 this set can be yours. They come as shown with all the hardware included. Since everything is stainless there is no need to worry about the rust attack.

You can purchase a set by contacting King Zebba's at https://www.facebook.com/KingZebbaCustomCruisers/




Actual conversation between Tim of Michigan Built fame and your illustrious Kustomized Bicycle Magazine Editor….

“Tim…” I texted. “I need a tail light for my square tube frame. I want it to mount to the frame but my frame is already powder coated.  And it has to look cool”

Tim from Michigan Built replied within minutes, “Give me a day and I’ll see what I can do”.

Tim replied late the next day, “Got something to show you. I’ll bring it to OBC”

I rolled into OBC on Thursday afternoon, after unloading and checking in grabbed my ride, headed downstairs. Tim caught me outside and showed me this milled piece of aluminum with a Cat Eye tail light fastened to it.

“Here it is”, he said.

“What am I supposed to do with that”, I replied.

Tim walked up to my bike and turned the flashing LED on with his thumb. He then stuck the piece of milled aluminum to my handlebars and walked back to me. Like magic, the aluminum stuck to the steel 1” square tube of my handlebars.

I thought to myself, “Magic”.  I snatched the piece off my bars realizing that it took a good amount of effort to pull the aluminum slug away.  I flipped it over and realized that this piece of metal was not of Insane Clown Posse stupidity but Tim had milled a counter bore into the bottom of the aluminum and had permanently placed three high power magnets into the void.

“Ride with it for the week and tell me what you think”, Tim replied.

I did just that. I stuck the light mount to the upper section of my non-drive chain stay for a night. I popped off curbs and hit every speed bump I could always looking back to make sure the light was still mounted. The next night I stuck the light and mount upside-down under my seat, just to the side of the tire and rode in a not so smooth fashion hitting every pothole I could find (worrying about my 29” polished rims).  I kept feeling under the seat to see if it was there. Yup, there it is.

It lasted the entire week and made it through every ride without flaw or fail.

So here it is ladies and gentleman; The MINION….straight from Tim Sanders at Michigan Built. Tim has started production of the light mounts so they are ready for purchase. The Cat Eye tail light is not included but you can purchase a Cat Eye Nima 2 Rear Bicycle Safety Light SL-LD135-R from practically anywhere for $15.00.

  • The mount is milled from 6061-T6 Aluminum.

  • The MINION will mount to anything a normal magnet will.

The MINION will come with a fresh milled finish and ready to be mounted as is or you can run through the polisher first.

Time milled the MINION so that the magnets will contact the frame before the aluminum will. Since the magnets are polished smooth and have radiused edges we have had no problems with the MINION scratching the finish on anything we have stuck it to. Personally if I was really afraid of scratching a multi-million dollar paint job I just might not be sticking anything to it or maybe take a small piece of packing tape and stick it to the magnet area then trim off the excess.



project: resto-mod teardown


Back in November of 2016 the editor of Kustomized Bicycle Magazine shared a photo of the latest magazine purchase. It is a true barn find and the pictures were taken as proof during purchase. Luckily, though it spent its life outside it was on a mostly shaded side and under a roof overhang. Of course, many seasons of weeds had made their ways through the frame and all the pliable parts were rotted this Sears Screamer was mostly in-tacked except pedals. Plans were made for the new acquisition. It is simply going to be restored and a few modern custom things added to make it the coolest bike of 1968. We coined the name at this time……Project: Resto-Mod Screamer

Since those first pictures, the Resto-Mod Screamer has been sitting in the corner of the shop collecting dust and a few swag boxes stacked on its seat. We finally got enough things complete and off our to-do list to start on this project. For the next year or so, we will be doing the restoration and modification to the classic muscle bike and have our readers following the process.

Tear Down

You cannot make something new without tearing it down. The teardown is arguably one of the most important parts of this procedure. This is where you can make existing damage worse, break parts, lose parts and should be making lists of what needs to be done and what needs to be found and purchased. We have a background in restorations of vintage / antique cars and motorcycles. Just because these are more complicated than a bicycle does not mean the rules change.

Before you start:

Use the proper tools:  You will do more damage using channel locks, vice grips and Crescent wrenches. Restorations cost money, instead of paying to fix parts you damaged using the wrong tools; Go buy the proper tools. Bearing cups are easily removed without damage using a brass drift.

Bag and Tag: The most important way to keep from losing parts (mostly small fasteners and such). Ziplock sandwich bags with a piece of paper inside clearly marked with permanent marker will save you from hours of trying to remember what is the proper rear fender screw or even having to find another rear fender screw because the original is now lost.

Pictures: If you find that something is a little technical, and remember that you will be putting all of these parts back together so pictures are a necessity. Whether it is the location of components are showing where each screw is facing, these pictures are worth more than anything. Take a lot of them as often as you feel necessary.


Penetrating Fluid: Spraying every fastener and metal on metal contact point with some kind of penetrating fluid. This particular bike is almost 50 years old and I am sure that none of these fasteners has ever been loosened. It takes time for a penetrating fluid to work so start a few weeks before planned disassembly day and spray all the areas with a quality penetrating fluid. A few days later go ahead and do it again. Over the course of a few weeks, you can spray the bicycle down 4-5 times. This will loosen up the rusted components and make them easier to remove without damage.


The easiest way we have found to disassemble a bicycle that will be restored is front to back.

  1. Remove the front tire. Leave the tire on the rim as an amount of protection for the steel wheel (I have a tendency of dropping things).  Always screw the axle nuts back on the axle tightly so they do not get lost.

  2. Remove anything mounted to the handlebars (i.e. brake levers, shifters, bells, horns)

  3. Remove the handlebars.

  4. Remove the stem.

  5. Remove the front fender. Bag and tag fasteners

  6. Drop the front fork. Bag and tag the headset items including bearing cups immediately.

  7. Remove any shifter mounted on the top bar and derailleur(s). Do not cut the cables. Keep everything as one assembly. I keep them for a size template when I cut new cables and housings.

  8. Remove seat and seat post. Bag and tag seat post clamp.

  9. Remove sissy bar. Bag and tag all fasteners and reflector.

  10. Loosen bottom bracket set nuts.

  11. Remove pedals.

  12. Remove crank and bottom bracket set. Bag and tag bottom bracket set including bearing cups immediately.

  13. Remove rear tire. Leave the tire on the rim as an amount of protection for the steel wheel. Always screw the axle nuts back on the axle tightly so they do not get lost.

Once everything is removed, you will instantly want to start getting the frame down to bare metal so you can perform a super cool new paint job. Not yet my friend. You are going to have to replace all the decals and they need to be in the right location for a top of the line restoration.

  1. Using a tap measure and a defined point, measure the location of all the decals that will be replaced.

  1. Take a few pictures of the paint job if there are color changes. This will aid you or your painter to get the fades and colors in the proper places.

  2. Put all of you parts into one container that will hold up to the workspace. We move things around constantly in out shop so standard cardboard boxes never hold up.  A cheap see through plastic container is the ticket.

Start putting the new parts in the same container so they do not get lost. In this picture, we have the new Sears speedometer, grip tape and some other miscellaneous items that we are slowly collecting.

In an upcoming issue of Kustomized Bicycle Magazine, we will take the next steps. We will disassemble the front fork, bag and tag the components then get the frame and fork down to bare metal to see what we are dealing with. 



muerte roja

Chris Burke of CBurke Customs has been pushing out custom bicycles to very selective buyers for a few years. Having built a fleet of custom stretch cruiser, he was making a name for himself in the custom bicycle world. When he was invited to compete in the 2017 Bike Build-Off, he decided an all-out attack on the competition was in order to show the world what he can do. Going up against some of the very best wouldn’t be an easy couple of weeks of welding and grinding. What he delivered to the event in Las Vegas what an eye blistering custom that has so many features that people were literally stunned while viewing the creation. Anyone can see the custom frame and the one-off fork but what about the fender mounts or the rider suspension tucked stealthily under the seat and even the machined spiked cap nuts covering everything?

Chris started with some sticks of tube and slowly created a stretched cruiser frame. The frame consists of a long, slightly arced top tube and highly arced and bent down tube that gracefully make their way to a few inches past where the chain stays would eventually mount. The top tube grafted itself into two arced down tubes that would support the suspension seat mounts. Chris kept the head tube at a very rideable angle knowing that too much rake makes a stretched frame hard to control during a ride. The bottom bracket mount is a tightly rolled tube welded to the down tube.

Chris then welded in a mid-tube before welding in a panel to both sides forming a faux tank (i.e. a great place for artwork). Before Chris was done with the main frame, he went a little old school and peaked the top tube from neck to crotch. 

Moving towards the rear, Chris picked a few smaller diameter sticks of steel tube and fitted a set of chain stays. These tubes, with a series of compound bends, were finally welded to the main frame that would eventually fit a massive rear wheel. Note the custom cut and very form fitting dropouts that accentuate the rest of the curves on this machine.

With the frame complete, Chris added a seat of mounts for a suspended seat and mounts that would hold the rear fender in place.

The front fork is a custom suspended springer styled unit…..kind of.  Instead of fork legs a set of rounded and arced legs that match the tire diameter were fabricated that match on both sides. From those rounded legs a set of custom dropouts were welded on while a set of mounts to attach the fork to the head tube and to the “spring”. Instead of an actual spring, the front fork was designed around a Fox adjustable air stock that is held in place with a set of polished spacers and clamped in place with a set of polished brass washers and spiked cap nuts. On top of the head tube was a custom mount made for the top of the air shock.

The rolling stock on this machine consists of a 29x3 front wheel and a 26x5 rear. Both wheels were built with 72 polished spokes each by Robert at Most Hated Bicycle Parts with a set of red anodized nipples. Wrapped around the rear custom wheels is a Vee 26”x4” rear tire and a up front is a matching Vee 29”x1.9”. The rear hub is a polished basic wide single speed coaster brake model while the front is a beautiful sealed bearing polished unit.

The accoutrements to Chris’s wicked machine are numerous. He took a 32” big wheeled bagger motorcycle rear fender and after some creative cutting and custom peak to match the frame he used it to cover the rear tire. The seat is also a motorcycle bobber number the has a custom polished aluminum shroud mounted with polished brass rivets and some wicked plush leather work to keep the rider in comfort. There is a little surprise under the seat for added cush. Some custom mounts were welded to the frame which mounts a mountain bike shock to the bottom of the seat. The matching custom hand grips and the one off kickstand were milled by Tim at Michigan Built.

For the finish…yeah, that retina searing custom paint job. After Chris finished the massive amounts of bodywork EZ Customs out of Clearwater, Florida did the numerous coats of different colored flake. After the color was laid down a very awesome lowrider inspired custom airbrush murals were sprayed to both sides of the tank insert.

In the end, Chris Burke of CBurke customs ended up with one of the most beautiful bicycles we have ever featured. If you ever get a chance to see the Muerte Roja in person spend a half hour checking out all the amazing details whether it is the fabrication quality, the amazing details in the part choices and geometry or the stunning paintjob. 


rat life

There are many different kinds of bike builders. You have the people that purchase everything new and build everything from scratch. There are the people that use what they have laying around. There are people that polish and powder coat everything and yet others that leave everything raw for that weathered look.

Adam Copeland is a little bit of each. Though most of his builds look vintage there is very well thought out and advanced geometry involved, hard to find parts installed and his builds have a distinctive flow to them. This would be expected since Adam is also the owner of Patina Kustoms in Elk Grove, California.

Adam started with a very normal 1960’s Huffy men’s frame. With a few minutes of time with the cutoff wheel the frame was missing everything from a few inches behind the seat post and several inches behind the head tube. Using a lot of new steel tube (and a little used pieces) Adam stretched the back of the frame and brought the saddle height down to a much more respectful 18”. Not only was the rider height dropped but also Adam added much needed space around the rear tire and welded in a healthy set of chain stays. Adam designed the new back half of the frame to the original front section so when welded together the head tube has added rake for that low down nastier look. Note the piece of tube welded in so that the chain has a direct path from chain ring to cog. 

Up front, a 24”Rat Trap springer fork was used. Adam went with an old school trick by flipping the fork rockers around so the action rods now sit in front of the fork. It changes the forks action nominally but sure looks a lot cleaner in conjunction with the added rake. Under the Rat Trap is the front wheel from a Schwinn Tandem which measures to a thin 1 3/8”. Wrapped around the tandem wheel is an original Allstate tire that Adam had somehow picked up for $1.00.

On the front of the springer is a custom mounted Doo Ray headlight. Above the head tube is a standard quill styled handle bar clamp which hold the Patina Kustoms STDtear drop bars in place. (If you have not heard, Adam makes some super cool bars…you may want to look into that if the need arises).  

The drivetrain consist of the tried and true basics. Up front is a Schwinn skip tooth chain ring that had been rechromed. Two skip tooth chains were put together to cover the full length of the drivetrain. The rear consists of a Sturmy Archer hub with a Sturmy Twinshift which is clamped within arm’s reach to the bottom rail. The rear tire is a 24”x3” Fattio that engulfs a double rim setup. For those not in the know a double rim is two hoops fastened together side by side. Then the hub is spoked using both hoops. This assembly requires two rim strips and two tubes which are then equally inflated within a single tire. That is the old school cool way to go fat.

Adam says he has about $50.00 total into the build but this machine is worth much more in time, effort and super coolness.





Is there a store that has all the custom bicycle parts we need?

Do they also do custom and on-off projects?

Do they have a website I can order from so I don’t have to talk to real people?

Can I get a set of headset bearings for my 1973 Columbia and a twisted birdcage continental kit all at the same place?

In the bicycle scene, there is one name that keeps popping up when looking for a one-stop shop for all the custom bicycle needs. Believe us; we did a lot of asking.

Clyde James Cycles has been the go to for many home builders in search of standards parts, a gift to the lowrider scene with their extensive inventory and is whipping out some of the epically cool custom bikes in the world. When they rolled out the Volkswagen bike at this year’s Las Vegas show bike people stopped in their tracks, non-bike people stopped in their tracks and Clyde James Cycles could have made their money back by charging a dollar per picture.

Kustomized Bicycle Magazine had a chance to talk to James and before long it was like we were best friends. With more bicycle knowledge than most, a great attitude and willingness to help those stuck on a bike project you couldn’t ask for someone better to deal with. So we asked James the KBM Builder’s Questions……

(KBM): When did your shop form and what is your background pertaining to fabrication and design?

(CJ)- Well the business all started in April of 2012, from copyrights to trademarks, this was setup for long term success from the beginning. We created the logos and t-shirt designs right away with plans for a website on the horizon. A year before that I began working at Cadistrophic Sledfactory for my friend Jason, this is where it really all started. During the day I would help build custom frames for cars and trucks in Jason's custom car shop. This is how I learned to weld and fabricate. Jason let me use a room in his 7500 sq ft shop and this was my lab, I would build my bikes after hours and on my days off spending any extra time I had learning the building process. Most days I would be consumed with work in the shop but in the back of my mind I couldn't wait to start or finish another part of a custom bicycle frame. With a lot of help and encouragement from Jason, I continued to build these frames. The first custom bike I built I have kept for myself and will never sell, it is still hanging in my store today. The second frame Jason and I built together for him, the third frame was for my friend Joe, the fourth frame for my friend Josh, the 5th for my friend Kerry and the 6th was a tricycle for my good friend's Shannon and Charlsa's daughter. These friends and so many more who are not named, believed in me and are a big part of my success today!  One day out at the Red Bull Flugtog I met Chelsey Fairless, who invited us to an event at Strokers in Dallas. So we packed up the bikes and headed out to my first event with the Fairless family. After lots of good feedback and encouragement from Rick, we began building kids custom bikes and donated a couple to Ricks yearly charity event to raise money for Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. This charity does so much for kids and families in need of expensive life saving surgeries. After donating a couple full custom kids bikes to different charity events, Rick purchased one of my custom 12" bikes for his Grandaughter. This was an amazing moment for me, here you have one of the best custom motorcycle builders in the world not only supporting my dream but buying one of my builds for a family member. that's not even all of it, not only did Rick get a bike from me but he also gave me a full year of FREE advertising in his store! We created a poster and had a custom bike with business cards on display for 1 year full year in his store! This is just the kind of guy Rick is, always giving back to the community and helping others around him. We can only hope to help as many people as Rick has over his career. After all of this I was on cloud 9, this is the moment I knew anything was possible! Big thank you to all my friends and family who believed in me and supported my dream, and also to the Fairless family for taking us in and treating us like one of their own. When you surround yourself with good people and work hard anything is possible! 

(KBM): Who originally got you into bicycles and can take credit for your hands-on interest?

(CJ)- Bicycles have always been a big part of my childhood. My older sister taught me how to ride a bicycle when I was 5 years old. I can still remember the first time I finally was able to ride on my own without the training wheels. This was that first moment of freedom for me, riding around our apartment complex on my bike! The adrenaline the excitement, I was hooked and here was the beginning of what some would call an addiction. Years later, my older brother and I got BMX Bikes for Christmas from Santa. Now this was a big deal, we then lived down the street from Kyle's Bike and Mower, this is where we would go after school and drool over all the new BMX bikes that where coming out in the 90's. We wanted these new shiny bikes and cool parts but needed a way to pay for our BMX habit. So my brother and I came up with a plan, we would mow yards during the summer and during the winter we would rake leaves. Also, we would go to the golf course and wade through the creeks to find golf balls we could resell to the golfers. These golfers would buy every ball we had and we would turn that into BMX gold! This was our first business and helped us fund our passion for BMX Bikes. Behind Kyle's was a place we called The Jumps. The Jumps was a small BMX track built by BMX guys before us. Rules of riding here were that you had to help maintain The Jumps. So the older guys tought us how to build and shape the jumps with shovels and 5 gallon buckets with a creek near by for us to extract water to help mold the lips and berms. All the neighborhood kids would meet up at The Jumps after school and we would practice together learning and pushing each other to become better at a sport we all loved! With a little hazing  and rough housing each of us found our spot in the land of BMX at The Jumps. Today The Jumps are no longer there, the city bulldozed them. Hopefully one day we can resurrect our old stomping grounds for future generations to enjoy. So we lost our local track but found others in cities close by that we could ride our bikes to. One of the local tracks is Cowtown BMX, this is a professional track with a starting gate and complete track. We fell in love with the competition and art of racing BMX! Cowtown BMX track is still up and running today with many kids learning the sport of BMX and keeping it alive for future generations. This is a great place for kids trying to see if BMX racing is for them to show up on FREE ride nights and see what they can do. I still reminisce about the good old days at the jumps and all the guys I got to hangout with and learn from, to the late nights at Cowtown trying to keep up with my brother! Great times!

(KBM): What is your favorite bike you have built to date?

(CJ)- My favorite bike to date would have to be my most recent build the VW Beetle Bike. This bicycle was a challenge, I used the original drawing of the EMPI Beetle Bike by Hotaka Saito, an amazing artist from Japan, and tried to create the first ever working model of his art. With a build like this its a lot of create the problem and then create the solution. This is a lot of what I do on a day to day basis, to create unique builds you have to be a problem solver. There's not always a store with the answers for the problems that we create, so you have to be creative and determined to complete complex builds. It also helps to surround yourself with other creative people, that have an eye for detail. With an engineer mindset and an artists eye there's no limit to what you can create! 


(KBM): With the explosion of the custom bike world in the last few years, where do you see this scene going?

(CJ)- The Custom bike scene is growing and it doesn't take someone in the scene to notice. With events like OBC put on by T Flow (Don Thomas Flores) and his OBC team, and others like Shiny Side Up by Dom at The Cruiser Shop, the scene will continue to grow by giving these artists and stores an outlet to show off what they can do. Everybody needs an artistic outlet and these events bring out the best from around the world. Look all around the US, with riding events like Critical Mass rides that go on in most major cities on the last Friday of every month, to the amazing Slow Roll on Monday nights in Detroit, the Bikelife as we call it is exploding in a neighborhood near you. Just get on Facebook and look for local bike groups in your area, if you want to join the bikelife and ride with groups and clubs. Also with veterans like John Brain, the Chopfather himself, and guys like Robert Baylea, HB Cruisers who has been a great mentor for me, and Warren Wong, the master wheel builder. These guys are passing down information and guidance to the younger guys like me to help keep this sport on the right path. The Bikelife will continue to grow and this lifestyle is for everybody, from roadbikes to hybrids, from Custom to Lowrider, from MTB to Beach Cruisers, Bikelife is a way for all of us to share our passion for cycling. Even with celebrities getting in on the fun, from Marshawn Lynch's new SE BMX Bikes, Snoop Dogs Lowrider 3 wheeler, Chip Foose's Micargi Cruiser and Antique Archaeology's custom Cruiser by Felt. Create something unique that shows your personality and style, then get out and get riding.

(KBM): If someone hasn’t seen Clyde James Cycles bike how would you describe its style?

(CJ)- The VW Beetle Bike in person looks like a VW Bug design. We did a thin Ruff Cycles steel saddle to give the design a look of no seat when you stand back and look at it, or see it in a picture. This bug has a lot of detail, from the original VW Beetle taillight to the front VW Beetle turn signal. These features where important to us to keep the VW look from front to back. We also made suicide doors on both sides with working door handles to open them. On the inside we did complete custom upholstery on the doors with door handles and window roll up handles. These are just for looks but helped us create the details of the interior of the VW Beetle Bike. We even installed the flower vase and used a cog off a bicycle to create the flower for the vase, a staple of all VW Bugs in existence today. To make the VW Beetle Bike easy to ride we used a 7 speed setup with a BoxKars Suicide Shifter, this allows the rider to go anywhere around town and enjoy the VW experience, if you can ride at all without people stoping you for pictures. We also did a full custom two tone paint job, off white and turquoise blue, by my good friend Tony Cano owner of EvoTime Customs, also known as GMG Tony for his work on the popular TV show Fast & Loud or Gas Monkey Garage. Tony has painted every bike I have ever created, I am very thankful that he still takes time to help me with his amazing talent and skills, thanks bro!

(KBM): Is your shop a one stop shop? Do you build custom bikes that are ready to ride or a series of pieces that can be purchased together?

(CJ)- Clyde James Cycles is a one stop shop, we have a full store front and fab shop on our property. We do everything from full custom frames, custom parts like forks and handlebars, custom wheel builds and so much more. Here you can order complete custom bikes and we will help walk you through the design process. With all the parts and custom frames in stock from Ruff Cycles, TSP and HB Cruisers to the new Warren Wong frames and parts, you can get a prefabricated frame and utilize our large variety of parts and accessories to create your own unique custom bicycle. We also build one off custom frames and other unique builds like our Radio Flyer trailer for your truck. We offer paint, powder coating, chroming, engraving, and stock some of the most sought after parts like Shifty Bastards shifters to Peek Cycles Bars, Chop Shop Customs, Warren Wong Frames and wheels, HB Cruiser Frames, Michigan Built Kickstands, and so much more. We are the Shimano and Brooks dealer in Fort Worth. We sell new Bikes from HBBC, 3G Bikes, Micargi, Felt, Kink BMX, SE Bikes, Fuji, and Phat Cycles these are just a few brands we stock in store. We have our website: www.clydejamescycles.com where you can order direct and we ship worldwide. Or you can just call our store at 817-726-9461.  With thousands of customers served, we are here to help you and save you money on your custom build by getting it right the first time. 


(KBM): What is your favorite style of bike to build chopper, bobber, stretched cruiser?

(CJ)- For us, we like all of the styles from full custom, BMX to Road Bikes. All of these give us a great outlet to be creative. Each type of bike creates different challenges and provide us great satisfaction once completed. We don't really have a preference, at Clyde James Cycles we love the art of bikes and will continue to create new and innovative styles on all platforms. No matter the bike we will continue to build unique bikes for unique people.

(KBM): When not in the shop building bikes what do you spend your time doing?

(CJ)- I mostly spend time with my fiancé, Caymi, and our dogs Cha Cha and Blue. We love going out and trying new foods, traveling and spending time together just enjoying life. We spend time with our families and friends and enjoy going to the lake in the summer and riding bikes on all of our local trails. We are truly blessed to be able to enjoy our lives this way. We have worked hard and are now starting to see some of the fruits of our labor. Once again we give all thanks to God, without his presence in our lives none of this would be possible. Also our families, they are our rock! Always there to help guide and support us and our decisions. Without there support Clyde James Cycles would have not been possible. 

(KBM): What is your favorite tool in the shop and what is usually playing on the stereo?

(CJ)- My favorite tools in the shop is my mig and tig welders and my grinder. With these tools you can build almost anything if your creative enough and determined. Also my frame table, I have built every one of my bikes on this frame table. For full custom builds you need a lot more equipment, but with these main tools you can get started chopping and welding. Music at the shop is always rap it's all I listen to, it's what I grew up on in the 90's from Bone Thugs N Harmony and all the old NWA West Coast movement to Twista, Eminem, UGK, Pimp C, Machine Gun Kelly, Ritz, Yelawolf, and Lacrea. These artist create music I can relate to, and guide me with their lyrics on days that are harder then others to push forward and achieve my objectives. 

(KBM): If a person hasn’t had access to the settings, tools, and skills like welding, fabrication, paint, etc. What is a good first step to take in learning what it takes to build a project bike?

(CJ)- I see this all the time, people saying, if I had the tools you have, I could create custom bikes. Realistically it doesn't take much with just a few basic tools and determination you can get creative and make something from nothing. Every custom guy started off with nothing and job by job invested in himself and his business to create more unique products. You don't need the best tools or shop to get started, with a little creativity and resourcefulness you can jump in and create your first project. Just remember to surround yourself with other positive people who believe in you! Get away from all the negativity and bad influence in your life. Give thanks to God ask him to watch over you and keep you safe while you are in the shop working and pray for him to take your hands and make amazing things. This is what I do everyday before I start fabricating. Don't forget to give thanks at the end of the day for what you where able to achieve, and the food that it put on the table for you and your family.

(KBM): What is next for your shop? Upcoming projects, lines of parts?

(CJ)- Next for Clyde James Cycles we are working on some manufacturing deals to bring our unique designs to the masses. We will continue to update our website www.clydejamescycles.com and upgrade our store and fabrication shop to better serve our customers. We are currently working with other top fabricators to bring you collaboration and are excited to see what we can do with other likeminded builders. I will leave you with this, may the Lord bless you and your business, the wind always be at your back, and your wheels always true. To all those who have sacrificed so much to bring their dreams to reality, don't give up! Find your supporters and rally on to do amazing things.

obc 2017 in review

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen. From the attendees and participants that were there: the review of OBC 2017. We asked for your reviews and we got more than a file cabinet full. I am also sure the OBC coordination team would read this feature….at least I am positive they did last year. We went about publishing these with several factors in mind:

  • We wouldn’t print anyone’s name…. I didn’t want to get all the signed permissions from everyone.

  • We piled the submissions together per event.

  • We used the best submissions from each event that required the least amount of spell checking and writing to make readable.

  • Good or Bad wouldn’t matter, we have “no dog in this hunt”.

From the Editor:

Overall Kustomized Bicycle Magazine had a great time at OBC 2017. We had some problems with the Golden Nugget and probably won’t be booking rooms with them in the future. The OBC crew was on top of everything, made sure that notifications of any changes were getting out to everyone and made sure the schedule was kept. We know it is tons of hard work and we appreciate everything they do. Thank you OBC TEAM. You put on the best bike event in the country and it was AWESOME.  

Wednesday April 19th

Early Bird Party @ Evel Pie

Early Bird Ride (Saints through Fire)

The ride/party started off at Evel Pie, a pizza parlor/ bar/ shrine to Evel Knievel.  It was great to see familiar faces again, and on a side note, I spent a fair amount of time handing out prints from last year’s OBC to everyone.  Then it was off to the ride.  We traveled through the Arts District to the first stop, Hop Nuts Brewing, a local brewery.  Our second stop was to the Container Park.  Then it was back to the Nugget for a good nights rest.  While there was only two stops and the distance was only a few miles, it was a nice easing into the OBC.  This ride went really well, the route was on less traveled parts of Vegas and going to remote places only locals go to made it a nice ride.  -SB

Thursday April 20th

Wake and Bake Ride (Rigid)

Thursday was April 20th, so there were three 420 inspired rides for the day.  I was only able to make one of them, the Wake Bake Ride.  More travelling through the Arts District, and our first stop was Huntridge Tavern, a local dive bar in the same complex as a liquor store and pharmacy.  The next stop was Dino’s lounge, which I admit I could only ride by as I needed to return to the Nugget to pick up another bike.  This route was fun because it took us through some residential areas as well.  Again, the route kept us off busy streets and took us to some local hangouts, which made for a good ride.  -SB

Early Bird Party (Red Bar)

After a long drive into town, we were happy to make it to the Early Bird Party at the Red Bar. The venue was nice, close to the Golden Nugget and very easy to find. There was ample parking either inside or out for those that rode to the party rather than simply walking a couple blocks. The drinks were descent for low to mid shelf and priced as such.  The party lasted long enough that we could drop in and say hello to everyone, go grab a quick bite to eat then hit the party again to get some refreshments before the next ride. It was great to see all my friends that I haven’t seen or ridden with for a year.  -AM

Early Bird Ride (Outsiders)

Very short ride but the parking lot was large and allowed everyone to pack in. The barbeque place was really good and nicely priced. I wish I could remember the name of it.  -SM

My crew was so pumped to hit Las Vegas in force for the Thursday night ride. We spent the day going over our bikes getting things all lubed and cleaned up. We ended up riding six blocks then sitting in a parking lot for two hours. Who plans these rides? If half of the people have already left by the time you call that it is time to ride you are already way too late. We ended up ditching out and heading to the Stratosphere because we could see the Golden Nugget sign from there just so we could put on some miles.   -RJ

I see why they took the “Tonight We Ride” motto away. Maybe “Tonight We Stand Around” would be better.   -CG

This ride only had one stop as well, started to our one and only stop was Ricks Bar, a bar that is owned and sometimes operated by the cast of Pawn Stars fame.  Have you ever been on a ride and your group overloads the bar because so many show up at once?  Well imagine that times 10.  Parking was blocked off for us, but with only two bartenders trying to serve 500+ people, I ended up going elsewhere for a drink.  The ride went well, and it was great to have a space reserved for us to park, but it became overloaded given the number of people.  -SB

Friday April 21st

As Seen on TV Ride (Artistic Cruisers)

We love this ride every year. Though it would have been nice to go somewhere different, the ride length and amount of people made it the best ride of the weekend. I’m not sure who’s idea it was to try to pack 600 bicycles and people in an alley where they could stand for a half hour but it wasn’t a great one. -HG

Started the day with a classic OBC ride, the As Seen on TV Ride.  There was one hiccup in the event, as someone’s battery charger started a small fire in the hotel, which shut down the elevators for 30 minutes, and resulting logistical logjam.  As a result, the folks already at the launch pad left in one wave, while some stayed behind to lead the second wave.  First stop was Welder Up.  From there, we went to Kounts Customs.  As we rolled in, we were told that they were filming an episode because of OBC.  However, the friends I rode with had a greater desire to grab lunch than be on TV, so we broke off from the group and headed to In-N-Out for lunch.  As luck would have it, on our return from lunch we ran into the group again and rode with them to Golden Skull Tattoo.  After Golden Skull, we rode back to the hotel.  This is a fun ride that winds through more of the industrial parts of Vegas.  Traffic was not an issue, and my choice to break off for lunch was really a personal and logistical preference.   -SB

It was great that the OBC crew had people inside the hotel sending information to the launch pad about the elevators. Then they even had someone waiting for us when we finally made it outside. Thanks a lot. Me and my GF didn’t want to miss this ride.  -CJ

Opening Party BBB’s

We love the opening party, everyone was a little late in getting there this year. When we walked in the place was empty and we were well after the advertised start time. We like the bar and had a lot of fun. The band was great and it ended just in time for us to grab our bikes from out room and get to the ride start location.  -DK

Titty Titty Bang Bang Ride (Chopaderos)

Best ride of the weekend? Yup. What a blast. Can’t wait until next year.  -RJ

Great ride but it was too short. Las Vegas never closes; we could have gone all night.   -MR

Saturday April 22nd

Sign Ride (Smash Brothers)

We did the Sign Ride again this year. It was a lot more fun than last year. Not that the ride has changed but it wasn’t nearly as hot and windy. Everyone was really nice when we got the sign an took turns for pictures. It was also a great chance to meet new people and look at some of the great bicycles. The ride back to the hotel is so much fun. I know some people took a different but riding down the casino road was really fun. Next year we need to have a Go-Pro mounted to a bike so we can remember that ride forever.  -MM

The Sign ride is a perennial favorite, and Show Me a Sign Ride.  I’ll admit one of the big draws for me was the opportunity to ride down the Las Vegas Strip on a bicycle with 800+ of my closest friends.  It was going south on Main where we ran into the Segwayosaurus, or the hook for this article.  This year the ride was very nice, no wind, a partial police escort, and warm weather.  Once we arrived at the sign, we all took the obligatory pictures as a souvenir proving we made it there, and then my friends and I headed back.  As there were only three in the return party, we thought it best to take some less traveled side streets for the return home.  However, we still had to take the strip part of the way back (and later learned there is a better crossover point than Circus Circus).  On the return trip, we stopped at an antique shop looking for some unique souvenirs and directions to the Cornish Pasty Company on a recommendation from Jimmy Peak (which we couldn’t remember the name, only that they had pasties and scotch eggs on the menu).  As luck would have it, the restaurant was right around the corner, so we reflected on the day’s events while enjoying a unique delicacy before returning.  While you would think just riding in a straight line would be boring, it’s the location that made it interesting.  This was the strip, so traffic was an issue, but given that there are 800 of us, we had an entire lane to ourselves.  This is one of my favorite rides, as its a great ride for pictures, you capture the event, the setting is obvious, and you tell a few stories about it for years. -SB

This is the best ride year after year. We should try to stay in a larger group coming back though. We wanted to stay off the main roads and ended up lost. -GK

Pool Party (Golden Nugget)

I love the pool party. Good times with all our friends. This is a highlight of the whole weekend.   -AK

Streets Run Red Ride (Hammer & Cycle)

Last year this ride was the highlight of the weekend. This year the ride was really short and the first stop ended up in an alley behind a tiny bar. We ended up having to lock our bikes up a block away then walking in. There was a band playing, sorry but I can’t remember the name, they were pretty good. We waited in line forever to get something to drink. Note for the future: pack your drinks on you for a ride. It will just make it easier. The second stop was a decrepit grocery store parking lot less than a mile away. Who comes to Las Vegas to hang out in an old grocery store parking lot? I think because the ride leaders are locals they don’t think of what the tourists would prefer to do. Half way through the ride the girls and I were talking about putting our bikes away and going sightseeing. We really should have since the last stop was within a block of the first stop. -GK

Hammer and cycle ride. the bars and the band was awesome then well I don't remember much else.  -DM

One of the more popular rides was the Streets Run Red Ride, hosted by Hammer and Cycle.  The first stop was ReBar, an antiques shop that had a bar in it (or was it the other way around).  They had a band playing out back, was able to chat with some more friends and check some other cool builds.  The next stop was a return to Huntridge Tavern.  We watched a patching in of a new Hammer and Cycle member, and I caught up with my old bike mechanic from Denver that moved to Vegas last year.  Another highlight was a chance to catch up Mr. Eric Yamasaki, OBC’s official photographer for OBC 2016, and a great guy all around.  Hard working, and supportive of other artists, he’s an asset to documenting rides.  Our final stop on the ride was the Cornish Pasty Company.  I can see why the night rides can be more popular than the day rides, as the weather is nicer (especially if one is wearing a patch vest), and everyone has recovered from the night before.  A great route again as traffic was not an issue. -SB

At Your Own Risk Ride (Rigid)

At your own risk ride. If u were there, you know why.  -AH

Sunday April 23rd

Bike Show BBBs

This year’s bike show had a lot going against it thanks to Mother Nature. The OBC crew did a phenomenal job and had to take steps to keep the event running. The venue has plenty of space and there were plenty of people there. It’s great that the bar is open during the day because it gets really hot out on the asphalt. I don’t think I have been to a show who’s reward ceremony has taken that long and I have been to the Grand National Roadster Show.  -MH

Into the Sunset Ride (VooDoo)

Albeit the last ride, and yet I met most of them for the first time. The rooftop party with the girl trying to get a "peeing for distance" competition started had us all in stitches. Great Time!!  -MD

This is the one ride I was looking forward to from last year.  As was last year, the ride involved traversing the strip, only this time at night.  One thing that changed was we went down to the strip on Las Vegas Blvd, as opposed to taking Paradise Rd.  We stopped at the Circus Circus marquee and then Ellis Island Casino to watch the sunset.  The next stop was bicycle drag races, but due to flight schedules of my friends in the group we had to skip that part of the ride.  We spoke with Nick and he told us the back roads to take that would keep us out of traffic, which was Koval Ln to Sands Ave, to Mel Torme Way, to Sammy Davis Jr Dr which turns into Industrial Road to Wyoming Ave to Main St.  While a shame to leave the ride early, the small group, lack of traffic, and nice weather all made for an excellent ride back home for the night.  It was a great ride, the ride down the strip was excellent, traffic not an issue due to our numbers, and a less traveled return path made it yet another favorite ride for me. -SB




Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Mr. Crank McChainring and do not necessarily reflect the position or attitude of Kustomized Bicycle Magazine. The magazine only allows Mr. McChainring to publish his thoughts in the Kustomized Bicycle Magazine to keep him from loitering at the front doors or spraying graffiti on our building and fence.


The other day I was sittin’ next to the dumpster at 7-11 drinking my ice cold fruitberry slurpee while trying to pull a goatshead thorn from the bottom of one of my Spicolli Specials. It was a hot and sunny day and I had my Sony Walkman blaring one of my favorite mix tapes that I have had for years. Though I have the deluxe edition Walkman with the AM/FM radio built-in I prefer my mix tapes…..top 40 radio sucks ya know.

This Hottie McHotterson pulls up into the parking lot and parks next to the dumpster. Getting out of her car, I realized that she was the Barbie of my dreams. With those long legs just covered at the top with that blue-jean miniskirt with the little pockets…and the Whitesnake T-shirt with cutoff sleeves tied tightly just under her….you know.

I was all like “What’s up girl?”
She was like “Nothin’ What are you up to?”
I said “Just chillin, got some tunes and my tasty frozen fruity beverage.”
She said “What are you listening to Vans wearing man?”

So, we got into this long discussion about music and what was on my mix tap. She liked some crappy bands but overall she had O.K. taste.  Not good enough taste to say yes when I asked her to come hang out at the dirt hills to watch me and my friend grab some major air though.

So what are Ol’ Crank McChainring’s 10 favorite bike inspired mix tape songs you ask?

1.     Queen - Bicycle Race

Why Queen at #1.  Simple. Freddie Mercury has the best voice EVER. There is no argument accepted. This song makes you ride longer and harder than any other song ever made.

2.     The Bouncing Souls – The BMX Song  

When it cause to east coast vs west coast soft-core punk….east coast all the way. But really, east coast has hardcore all the way too. Yup, this is coming from a west coast guy.

3.     Aquabats - Poppin A Wheelie   

This song speaks the truth. Who doesn’t love popping a wheelie?  It doesn’t matter what you are riding whether cruiser, stretched, fixed, down hill, BMX….you will be yanking up on those bars.

4.     Skylar Grey - C’mon Let Me Ride  

Who wouldn’t let Skylar Grey ride with them?  Girl, you hotter than my PK Ripper saddle that has been sitting in the summer sun all day.

5.     Madness - Riding On My Bike

Well, it’s Madness. Purveyors of Ska to the American market since the early 80’s. Much respect.

6.     i-45 – the Bike Song

I’m not even sure how I first heard this song. But yeah, “I gotta bike so don’t ask me for a ride”. This is probably one of the first songs I ever heard where a bicycle bell was used as an instrument. This is a third rate Beastie Boys song when the Beastie Boys first hit the top 40.

7.     Sons of Science – Motherfucking Bike

This song has a catchy tune to it and I’m not sure if I like it so much because it is actually a good song or it makes serious fun of hipster fixie kids wearing moustache wax and beard balm while riding their skinnys.

8.     Tom Waits — Broken Bicycles

This is the best song for that “sitting in the middle of the night in an unknown part of town in the dark with a flat tire after breaking up with your girlfriend and dropping your back bag on the ground to hard looking for your patch kit only to pop a whole in your last beer.”  Yeah…that’s happened

9.     Two Wheels – Wax

“Two wheels is the way I ride” and “In the bike lane, freestylin” Words to live by.

10. Ugly Kid Joe – Bicycle Wheels  

Just cause there isn’t enough Ugly Kid Joe in the world now days. They do the best covers of any band ever.

Runners Up that didn’t make the top 10…..no rhyme or reason, it’s my list and I’ll do what I want.


Red Hot Chili Peppers - Bicycle Song

BlocBoi Fame – Wheelie Wednesday

Flobots – Handlebars

Mark Ronson — The Bike Song

The Grave Architects – The Bike Song


You have any other songs you think I missed or that didn’t make the list? Send the editor an email at kustomizedbicyclemagazine@gmail.com and he will forward them to me.